Civilians, who fled fighting between the Tatmadaw and Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), returned to their village in northern Shan State only to find soldiers in their village and their homes and livestock looted.
Villagers from Nam Mahin village in Kyaukme Township were displaced from the clashes, which started on October 2 and lasted for 10 days. After the fighting stopped, the Burma Army told civilians sheltering at a Buddhist monastery to return to their village. When villagers sent one person from every household back on October 14, they found Tatmadaw soldiers were lurking about.
“They killed our pigs, cows and buffalo. We saw the remains of their bodies. We are afraid of them. And so we returned to the monastery,” a female villager, who was displaced from the fighting, told SHAN.
A youth volunteer from Kyaukme, who returned with the residents, told SHAN that soldiers searched nearly every home. They blocked off parts of the village and planted landmines, the volunteer explained.
The entire population of Nam Mahin – one hundred fifty people from thirty-five households – remain at the monastery, where local civil society organizations are providing them with some food.
Over 3,500 villagers were displaced by the fighting in October. They are staying at seven monasteries in the area. Clashes are preventing civilians from working on their fruit farms during the critical harvest period.
Villagers told SHAN there are ten Burma Army battalions from LID-22, LID-77 and LID-88 deployed in Nam Mahin, Hkant Hkae, Lon Wai, Ner Hpent, Near Aw and Ner Chan, all located in Kyaukme Township.